Having spent today assembling an Ork Battlewagon, I felt like I should discuss my views on these beasts. To start they are the toughest Ork vehicle with 14/12/10 to the respective locations. Most vehicles in the Ork list are 10-12 AV, so having a nice big, juicy 14 is great. In addition to this, the vehicle has some nice options. An increased transport capacity to 20 models or 10 in Mega Armour, this allows you to ferry a nice large boy unit across in relative safety and have lots left to assault with. The next is the BWs weapons options. It may have the following:
- kannon or lobba or zzap gun
- 4 big shootas or rokkits
The downside is these weapons, in my opinion, are wrong for the main use of the wagon. To me, it is a more resilient transport that can ferry larger units where you need quickly and not blow up at a stiff breeze (otherwise known as Pulse Rifles). To slap on all these weapons defeats this point. The BW should be moving 13" a turn (Red Paint Job), which - due to it not being a fast vehicle - means it will not be able to fire anything, thus negating the points spent on the weapons. It could be a mobile weapons platform if you wished, but the choice of weapons it has isn't really the best options for it -
Killcannon; 24" S7 AP3 Ordnance Large Blast
Looks good on paper, but for less points I could have an extra 12" +1S by taking a looted wagon. Sure it lacks the armour, but if kept well positioned then it would be getting a cover save to help make it last. This weapon just doesn't seem worth it to me, the short range and the fact its below S8 makes this an expensive and weaker demolisher cannon.
The lobba; 48" S5 AP5 Heavy 1, Blast
Being a barrage weapon this could hide and fire, however. Ork BS is terrible and generally blast weapons just scatter far (2D6-2), coupled with its low AP, this weapon wouldn't really be on any use except against masses of low T and Sv armies/models (Nids, Orks and Guard come to mind).
The cannon; (frag) 36" S4 AP5, Heavy 1, Blast
(krak) 36" S8 AP3 Heavy 1
This is a bit better of an option, giving you chance to take down vehicles. But, again the BS of the greenskins fails them. A single shot hitting on 5s is not something to put your belief if. Most the time you won't hit. The frag version suffers from the lobba's problem. Not high enough S or AP.
Big Shoota; 36" S5 AP5 Assault 3
Better. More shots equals more chances to hit. decent S and range, but once more the AP value means you won't be dropping many marines. In addition, on the BW, these are not defensive weapons due to the S5. Making them less useful unless you're crawling at infantry pace.
Rokkits; 24" S8 AP3 Assault 1
Again, much like the krak cannon round, the one shot relying on 5s is not a good idea. In addition the short range of 24" is not good, unless you've rushed.
As you can see, the options available to the BW in terms of weapons requires it to sit still to make the most of them all. Or to move a little and use one. For the points paid for it, I'd rather it was a glorified taxi. Cheaper and more effective, in my opinion. Add some points for say extra armour and you can now keep coasting forwards, ready to do the job it was made for. Letting loose loads of boyz! To this end I would keep it open-topped, allowing you to disembark after moving, and anywhere within 2" of the vehicle, not just exit points. Mine would read something like so:
Battlewagon; red paint job, armour plates, reinforced ram, 1x big shoota. (115pts)
It would also allow me to take another, if I wish. They're cheapish. One thing, as well. They're a fire magnet. People hear "Armour 14" and panic, spraying it with lots of firepower to try and down it quickly. In the mean times, my AV10 trukks just crusie on past and drop 12 Sluggas ready for a fight. If the wagon makes it to the enemy and drops the boyz off, then good stuff, if not - well... see above.
This is all just theory from me. I will try out all various configurations, and will do this by magnets. You will see below that there is no weapon in the main gun housing, this is because I will magnetise the various options allowing the one mini to be quite versatile. Also, the rear casing is not fixed on, allowing for it to be closed or open topped.